Our Approach

Our Approach

Bard Early College students are challenged and engaged by college courses that embody the highest standards of a liberal arts education. At the Bard Early Colleges, we believe that intellectual talent should be fostered in classrooms in which rigorous inquiry, informed analysis, and deliberative discourse are the norm.

Core Components

Four core elements have contributed to the success of the Bard Early College model: the Seminar Sequence, the intensive Writing and Thinking Workshop, the distinguished faculty, and the student support services.

The Seminar Sequence

The Seminar Sequence is the signature humanities experience of the Bard Early College program. The four-semester interdisciplinary Seminar Sequence exposes students to seminal texts from antiquity to modernity, which students engage through critical reading and interpretation. Readings include Plato’s The Last Days of Socrates, Dante’s Inferno, Machiavelli’s The Prince, Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Goethe’s Faust, Darwin’s The Origin of Species, Marx’s The Communist Manifesto, Freud’s Civilization and Its Discontents, Forster’s A Passage to India, Woolf’s To the Lighthouse, Kafka’s The Trial, and Frayn’s Copenhagen, among others. The Seminar Sequence is modeled on Bard College’s great books course, First-Year Seminar.

Writing and Thinking Workshop

The Writing and Thinking Workshop is a weeklong intensive learning experience that provides Bard Early College students with exercises in critical reading and writing. The workshop—based on the principle that strong writing and close reading enrich and enliven the classroom experience in all disciplines—helps students learn how to use writing as a tool for developing their thinking and voice. Students use and build upon the skills they develop during the workshop throughout the early college program. The workshop is based on the model developed by Bard College’s Institute for Writing and Thinking.

Distinguished Faculty

The academic success of Bard Early College students reflects the dedication and expertise of our faculty. Our uniquely qualified faculty are distinguished in their fields of study and are committed to teaching adolescents.

Early College Pedagogy

Bard Early College faculty are trained by Bard in early college pedagogy. Trainings include Writing and Thinking practices, classroom engagement and differentiated instruction strategies, techniques for fostering robust, productive group discussions, and how to scaffold towards college rigor, among other topics.  Bard runs state-approved teacher training programs in New York, Maryland, and Ohio. For more information, contact earlycollege@bard.edu.  

Support Services

Robust support services are key to student success at the Bard Early Colleges. Students are supported through the College Transfer Office, learning centers, faculty office hours, and student activities offices. Services include, but are not limited to: faculty and peer tutoring, individualized college counseling, internship advising, and student clubs.